Health Library: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Prostate Cancer Overview

More than 90 percent of all prostate cancers are discovered while they are either localized (confined to the prostate) or regional (nearby). The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate tumors discovered at these stages is nearly 100 percent.

In the past 25 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages combined has increased from about 68 to nearly 100 percent.

Early prostate cancer may not present with any symptoms. It can often be detected with screening tests, such as a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. But it is not clear if the benefits of screening outweigh the risks in all men. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the pros and cons of screening for prostate cancer to help you decide if it is right for you.

Follow-up visits with your doctor are extremely important if you have had an unusual DRE (digital rectal exam), or if your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level is high. Your doctor may order additional tests or suggest repeating the PSA tests.